Gophers commit Blake McLaughlin headlines nine Minnesotans drafted on Day 2
DALLAS — Gophers commit Blake McLaughlin admitted he was getting antsy while sitting in the stands at American Airlines Arena over the weekend.
After all, the 18-year-old was told he might go the he first round of the NHL draft, and that if he didn't, there was no way he would make it out of the second round.
So imagine the restlessness when McLaughlin was still sitting there at the start of the third round.
"I had weird thoughts going through my head like, 'Am I even going to get drafted? Should I just go home?'" McLaughlin said with a nervous laugh. "Once I heard my name called, it was a really big relief."
Yes, McLaughlin finally heard his name on Saturday afternoon, June 23, when the Anaheim Ducks selected him with the No. 79 overall pick, and with that, started living out his childhood dream.
"I don't want to be done here," McLaughlin said. "I don't just want to make the NHL. I want to win a Stanley Cup. There's still a lot of work to be done."
For McLaughlin, that starts on campus in the Twin Cities, where he's already started working out in to add weight to his 155-pound frame before his his freshman season in the fall.
"I've always looked up to the Gophers so it's going to be a really cool experience," McLaughlin said, adding that he wants to help put the program back on the map. "I think a stepping stone for that was bringing in Bob Motzko. I believe he's a great coach. That's our first step toward greatness."
As for the 30 teams that passed on him, McLaughlin simply plans on using it as motivation moving forward.
"It does put a chip on my shoulder," McLaughlin said. "It's also nice because I don't have the expectation of a first rounder to go in and change a team instantly. ... If I have a good start, I'm going to exceed those expectations. It's a good spot for me."
Here's a complete list of Minnesotans taken in this year's draft:
• K'Andre Miller (Hopkins), No. 22 overall, New York Rangers
• Scott Perunovich (Hibbing), No. 45 overall, St. Louis Blues
• Blake McLaughlin (Grand Rapids), No. 79 overall, Anaheim Ducks
• Demetrios Koumontzis (Edina), No. 108 overall, Calgary Flames
• Jack Perbix (Elk River), No. 116 overall, Anaheim Ducks
• Gavin Hain (Grand Rapids), No. 174 overall, Philadelphia Flyers
• Cole Koepke (Hermantown), No. 183 overall, Tampa Bay Lightning
• Jared Moe (New Prague), No. 184 overall, Winnipeg Jets
• Luke Loheit (Minnetonka), No. 194 overall, Ottawa Senators
• Sam Hengtes (Fridley), No. 210 overall, Minnesota Wild